Time (2021 TV series)

Time is a 2021 three-part TV drama written by Jimmy McGovern, directed by Lewis Arnold, and starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 6 June 2021.[1]

Time (2021 TV series) poster.jpg
GenreCrime drama
Created byJimmy McGovern
Written byJimmy McGovern
Directed byLewis Arnold
Music bySarah Warne
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes3
Executive producers
  • Lewis Arnold
  • Sean Bean
  • Stephen Graham
  • Jimmy McGovern
  • Michael Parke
  • Lucy Richer
  • Tom Sherry
ProducerSimon Maloney
CinematographyMark Wolf
EditorSacha Szwarc
Running timeapproximately 56–67 minutes
Production companyBBC Studios Drama Productions
Original networkBBC One
Original release6 June 2021 (2021-06-06)

In March 2022 the series was officially renewed for a second series.[2]


Mark Cobden is newly imprisoned, consumed by guilt for his crime, and way out of his depth in the volatile world of prison life. He meets Eric McNally, an excellent prison officer doing his best to protect those in his charge. However, when one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his family.[3][4][5]



The wings and cells prison scenes were filmed at HM Prison Shrewsbury, a former prison which was decommissioned in 2013, however most of the filming took place in the Liverpool City Region. The cameras moved to Liverpool to create the rest of the prison with a mash-up of courtrooms, police stations and education buildings, as well as exterior locations such as the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Widnes and the Southport Pier.[6]


No.Directed byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
1Lewis ArnoldJimmy McGovern6 June 2021 (2021-06-06)8.04[7]
Mark Cobden is sent to prison and has to learn quickly how to survive. When an inmate identifies prison officer Eric McNally’s weakness, he faces an impossible choice.
2Lewis ArnoldJimmy McGovern6 June 2021 (2021-06-06)5.18
Mark is being bullied by fellow inmate Johnno. Does he tell the prison officers and be labelled a grass or risk the attacks becoming more and more violent? Eric’s son is attacked.
3Lewis ArnoldJimmy McGovern6 June 2021 (2021-06-06)5.06[8]
Mark suffers a tragic personal loss and is given the chance to leave prison for a day. Eric is forced to take greater risks to protect his family. But where will he draw the line?


Writing in The Guardian, Lucy Mangan wrote: "The performances of Bean and Graham are, even though we have come to expect brilliance from them both, astonishing. So, too, are those from everyone in smaller roles, none of which is underwritten or sketchy, and who thicken the drama into something more profoundly moving and enraging at every turn".[9] Billie Schwab Dunn, writing for Metro, praised the show, which was "elevated by the central performances – particularly Bean, who gently grounds us and provides a beam of light in all that darkness".[3]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Nominee Result
British Academy Television Awards Best Mini-Series Time Won
Best Actor Sean Bean Won
Best Supporting Actor Stephen Graham Nominated


  1. ^ Vassell, Nicole (4 June 2021). "Time release date: Cast, plot and trailer for new BBC One series". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Four of the BBC's biggest dramas The Tourist, The Responder, Vigil and Time to return for a second series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b Schwab Dunn, Billie (6 June 2021). "Time review: Sean Bean's prison drama is a hard watch – but worth every minute". Metro. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  4. ^ Chilton, Louis (4 June 2021). "Time: Cast of BBC prison drama endured Covid scares and real prison experiences". The Independent. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  5. ^ Lally, Kate (6 June 2021). "BBC's Time viewers are all hoping for one thing from tonight's show". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  6. ^ Carr, Flora (4 June 2021). "Where is Time filmed? All the locations in the BBC drama". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  7. ^ "7-DAY RATINGS: 31 MAY-06 JUNE 2021". tvzoneuk. 14 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  8. ^ "7-DAY RATINGS: 14-20 JUNE 2021". tvzoneuk. 29 June 2021. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  9. ^ Mangan, Lucy (6 June 2021). "Time review – Sean Bean and Stephen Graham astound in enraging prison drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2021.

External linksEdit